- Popeyes released a campaign with its new agency of record, McKinney, which celebrates the brand’s hometown of New Orleans, according to information shared with Marketing Dive.
- “We Don’t Make Sense, We Make Chicken” will launch digitally in May, with nationwide out-of-home and television spots set for June. The effort also allows consumers to search for the brand’s mascot, Poppy, through an interactive commercial on the chain’s website.
- The campaign shifts the brand’s creative direction to focus more on its process and history as Popeyes has been unable to sustain growth despite the chicken category’s continued growth trajectory.
Popeye’s is hoping to return to relevancy with its latest campaign from its recently selected AOR, McKinney. Rather than utilizing marketing tactics such as celebrity endorsements and quick-moving TikTok trends, the brand is focusing on taste, history and the unorthodox nature of its hometown, New Orleans.
The new campaign spot features people on the streets of New Orleans, as a spokesperson puts an emphasis on how the brand is in line with the values of a “big city built below sea level [that] throws logic out the window and beads to strangers.” A band plays as the spokesperson discusses how marinating fast-food chicken for 12 hours “doesn’t make sense,” but makes the best recipe.
“Our new campaign shifts from a user-generated content model to content that spotlights the vibrancy and culture of our birthplace. This campaign is not just about our great-tasting food — it’s about the history and traditions behind it,” said Popeyes CMO Jeff Klein in a press statement.
Popeyes chose McKinney as creative agency of record after an RFP process in April after first appointing the agency on an interim basis in February. The agency won the pitch by presenting insights about consumer love for the brand and its food.
Popeyes’ marketing last made headlines with a campaign featuring hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in 2021. Prior to that, the chain saw unprecedented success with its chicken sandwich, which it added to the menu in 2019. Despite kicking off the so-called “chicken sandwich wars,” the boom was short-lived, with U.S. growth slowing to just 1.5% by Q4 of 2022.